“I always thought that a great Bon Jovi song could have been a great Supremes song if you redid it,” the singer-keyboardist said.
Whether he’s serious doesn’t matter — it’s part of Levitan’s MO. Baby Teeth’s music can be goofy, corny, kitschy — whatever you want to call it — and that’s just fine with the band.
“From the very beginning of the band, we really wanted to provoke a reaction. So, yeah, when people say, ‘This is really cheesy,’ at least we’re making them feel something,” said Levitan (who’s also a proud fan of Electric Light Orchestra and Hall and Oates).
“I also believe if indie rock is about being an underdog, then why not pull influences that by indie-rock standards are underdogs?”
“Big Schools,” the leadoff track on Baby Teeth’s third album, “Hustle Beach,” is corny enough it teeters toward parody. But something in Levitan’s delivery, and his story about a student at a large university, is sincere enough that you buy it.
“I think my approach with a song like ‘Big Schools’ is pick a character that might be ridiculous, but once you pick that character, really get inside that character and write as earnestly as that character,” Levitan said.
Written by Express contributor Rudi Greenberg
Photo courtesy Ben Reed